5 Holiday Marketing Tips to Beat a Slow Season

Gift BoxesAccording to the National Retail Foundation, holiday shopping for this year is set to increase, but only by a modest 4%. Just about every other report or story I’ve read about this holiday season has suggested it won’t be a good one.

As other direct and indirect competitors vie for your subscribers’ pocketbooks, how are you going to make sure your business isn’t left holding a lump of coal?

By putting together creative and effective email marketing campaigns, right? After all, your relationship with your subscribers is a serious competitive advantage, especially as the proportion of holiday shopping done online continues to grow.

So what can you try in your campaigns to get a response out of your subscribers?

Tips for Successful Holiday Marketing

A few thoughts on how to make your bottom line more cheerful this season:

Start Early.

There’s a reason you see toy stores, supermarkets and other retailers start putting out holiday decorations and flyers between Halloween and Thanksgiving. People get to making wish lists and buying gifts as soon as the first cold snap hits.

Better for shoppers to pick up a gift from you early, than for them to wait until the last minute, when they’ve already overspent their budget and may be less likely to spend as much.

Don’t Overmail.

Avoid the temptation to send frequently. This can be tough sometimes — competition for email users’ attention gets intense in the holiday season as businesses try to make sales goals. So, you may take the mentality that “the more I send, the more chances I have to make a sale!”

But remember: all that email adds up. When someone starts getting too much, what do they do? They unsubscribe and cry “spam!” And if they remember you as constantly emailing them, guess who they’re saying “goodbye” to first?

Offer Gift Cards/Certificates

These add up to about a tenth of all holiday spending, and are less likely to be returned than an actual product.

Cater to Last-Minute Shoppers

Every holiday season, I buy at least a few savings bonds as gifts.

Even though it takes weeks for the bonds to actually be mailed, when I buy them, I get a little voucher that says “You’ve been given a $____ savings bond from ______” and talks about what a great gift this is, etc. I take that voucher, put it in a card and presto! I have something to put under the Christmas tree.

If you give late shoppers something they can hand to their loved ones on the big day, they may buy from you up to the last minute, even if your product itself won’t get there in time. A printable voucher/card/certificate is an easy way to do this.

Appeal to the Spirit of the Season

The holidays are about giving, and part of that holiday spirit is reaching out to the less fortunate.

Pick a charity and offer to donate a percentage of your sales to it. Tell your subscribers what percentage you’ll donate, keep track of your total donation as sales increase, and make that information available to subscribers — via email.

When deciding between buying from you, and some other company who doesn’t participate in holiday giving, who do you think consumers will go with? Your appeal to conscientious consumerism can be the edge.

Have Any Holiday Marketing Ideas Of Your Own? Let’s Hear Them!

With the thousands of people subscribed to and reading this blog, I’m sure we can come up with a ton of good ideas for making this holiday season a profitable one, in spite of analysts’ predictions.

Share your ideas in the comments below!